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Things You Should Know Before Buying a GPS Tracker

Want to buy a GPS tracker but have no idea which one to choose? Read this post to learn how does a GPS tracker work and what factors you should consider when buying your own GPS.

By Thea | @Thea

Updated on Nov 14, 2019

Before buying any technology product, such as smartphones, computers, digital cameras, etc., you should do some research about the product you want to buy and learn about some related tech knowledge. That will be great helpful to find out exactly what you really need. The same is true for a GPS tracker. This article is going to tell you things about GPS trackers, the tech info, its components, how it works, and what factors you should consider if you plan to buy one.

How GoFindMe Works?

GoFindMe brings LoRa, the long-range radio technology to the smartphone. It works independently by creating a localized network between GoFindMe users that are within range of one another, without the use of cellular or Wi-Fi internet.

How GoFindMe Works.png

First, with a built-in GPS module, GoFindMe keeps receiving signals from a range of satellites continually, obtaining both real-time and historic navigation data on any kind of journey.

Second, GoFindMe receives and transmits all kinds of data (text, GPS coordinate, voice, SOS, etc.) to intended recipients via LoRa technology. The end-to-end encryption ensures that the communication is private and secure.

Last, install the App and connect GoFindMe to your smartphone via Bluetooth, then you are off and running! Through the App, you can use maps, send and receive text/location/built-in voice/SOS, share trace, set safe zone, etc.

How GPS Tracker Works if There's No Network?

To know how GPS trackers work, there are two concepts need to know at the very beginning. They’re Complete GPS System and Complete GPS Device.

(1) Complete GPS System & Complete GPS Device

GPS is the abbreviation of the Global Positioning System, a worldwide radio-navigation system formed by 3 parts: Space Segment, Ground Segment, and GPS Segment. The Global Positioning System is mainly funded and controlled by the U.S Department of Defense (DOD). The system was initially designed for the operation of U. S. military. But today, it also opens for civil users to use the Standard Positioning Service without any kind of restrictions.

  • Space Segment

Components: 27 satellites (24 operational satellites + 3 spare satellites)

Function: Transmitting satellite signals for navigation and positioning.

The Space part is consisting of 27 satellites (24 satellites + 3 spare satellites) at the altitude of 12,550 miles above the surface, each satellite moves around the earth every 12 hours. The satellites are evenly distributed in 6 orbital planes (4 in each orbital plane) with an orbital inclination of 55°. Their distribution guarantees that at least four satellites can be observed anywhere in the world at any time.

GPS - 24 Satellites.jpg

The function of these satellites is to send radio signals from space that are transmitted to GPS devices to give information on location, moving speed, time and direction. Each is constantly communicating its current coordinates to the world via satellite signals. Any GPS receiver can easily pick up this information and process it (one of the core functions of every GPS chip), which is the data source of GPS location calculation.

  • Control Segment (Ground Segment)

Components: Master Control Station (1) + Monitor Stations (6) + Ground Antenna (4)

Function: Receive, process, and transmit info.

The Master Control Station (MCS) processes the measurements received by the Monitor Stations (MS) to estimate satellite orbits (ephemerides) and clock errors, among other parameters, and to generate the navigation message. These corrections and the navigation message are uploaded to the satellites through the Ground Antennas.

  • User Segment (GPS Devices)

Components: GPS Receiver + Related Devices + Software

Function: Receive, track, monitor and calculate GPS signals.

The second concept you should know is what a Complete GPS Device is. A complete GPS device contains a GPS receiver, attached devices, and supported software.

A GPS receiver is the must-have part of a GPS tracker formed by GPS chip, which core function is to receive and process radio signals sent by satellites. GPS tracker has many types of user devices, such as on-board navigator, shipborne GPS navigator, mobile devices with built-in GPS function, etc. The software goes with the GPS device gives you detailed information such as maps, locations, and coordinates. Different GPS devices have different software.

(2) GPS Working Principle

There are two parts in a GPS tracking system. One part is the positioning system, and the other part is the communication system.

The basic principle of the GPS positioning system is that the satellite sends the radio signal and the GPS receiver receives the signal. Through the formula, the specific position of the receiver (namely the real-time position of GPS user), is calculated from the data of the four satellites. During this process, the GPS tracker does not require a connection to the network.

However, the GPS communication system may need a network to transmit information. Why is it may need? The principle of the communication system is transmitting the info, the coordinate information calculated by the positioning system, to the server or to your device. This process of info transmission needs a unique way to complete it. Some through GPRS and connect to the Internet, some through text, some through the special network (such as GoFindMe is using LoRa to generate a localized network), etc.

GPS Receiver Receives Signals from 4 Satellites.jpg

GoFindMe is a real-time GPS tracker developed and brought by Smart View International Limited, which dedicates to offer a better real-time GPS tracking & off-grid communication & safety solution to outdoor adventurers, as well as to the larger group of people engaged in all kinds of off-grid activities.

GoFindMe GPS Tracker.jpg

What Factors Should be Considered When Purchasing a GPS Tracker?

Each person might have different uses or purposes for buying a GPS tracker, so the factors may vary in some cases. However, regardless of the specific purpose and use, the following factors you can take into account in any situation.

(1) Quality

When choosing GPS navigation units, the configuration of software and hardware is very important. Generally speaking, the hardware configuration of professional brand manufacturers is more reliable. Some counterfeit GPS manufacturers often simply integration and assembly of some hardware, in the LCD screen, GPS chips, processors and other aspects of the product quality is difficult to ensure.

(2) Software

In terms of software, the most attention is paid to the accuracy and timeliness of GPS navigation map data. The constant updating of maps leads to the high cost of producing electronic maps, so many unqualified GPS manufacturers will reduce the updating of maps or pirated other electronic maps.

Besides, the stabilities and using conditions of the software are also important. If the software always crashes from time to time, that will be rather disconcerting. If it requires to be connected to the Internet or cellular, when venturing out into the wilderness with bad or no signal, the software becomes useless. In other words, your GPS device becomes useless.

(3) Brand

The importance of the brand is self-evident. Only professional manufacturers in the market for many years can better ensure the leading edge of product technology and have the capital and ability to provide a comprehensive, excellent service guarantee for users.

(4) Price and Support

Price and support services are also important factors need to be considered when buying a GPS tracker. Consumers want to buy products that are good in quality and cheap in price, but you know it’s hard to have it both ways. Once you realized that the quality of a product is directly proportional to its price, when buying a GPS tracker, and then you'll not skimp on paying for your "travel safety".

Similarly, consumers want timely help when they have doubts or problems with the product. Therefore, professional & timely customer service is the essential factor that needs to be considered

(5) Additional Features

Nowadays, thanks to the rapid-developing technology and manufacturing skill, GPS is not only a tool with location ability, but also covers many other useful functions. Thus when you shop for a GPS tracker, you can select additional features that are useful to you based on your real needs. For instance, GFM's one-button SOS and safe zone features are a good choice for outdoor travelers, kids, and elders.

GoFindMe GPS Tracker Real-Time Tracking for Outdoors and Families
  • • Track, locate and find people in real time
  • • No SIM card, no subscription and no monthly fees
  • Learn More >

The Bottom Line

Above are the basic things you should know about how a GPS tracker work and what to consider when purchasing your own GPS. GoFindMe is recommended due to its specialized manufacturing, official certification by FCC and CE, reasonable price, professional 24/7 support service and wide range of useful features. No dependency on a cellular connection. No monthly fees. No subscription.

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